How To Make A HD Video On Microsoft Movie Maker

Have you ever wondered how you can make a HD video using just Windows Movie Maker? No need for complex and expensive software like Adobe Premiere. Microsoft Movie Maker has all you need to create the HD video production you want.

Let’s take a look at the steps for doing this - there are just ten easy steps.

  • Gather What You Need
  • Copy Your Video Clips Off Your Camera
  • Convert Your Clips To WMV Format
  • Create A New Project
  • Import Your Clips
  • Do A Rough Cut
  • Build Up The Timeline
  • Add Titles
  • Add Transitions
  • Publish

1. Gather What You Need

First up, a couple of things you need before you make that HD video with Windows Movie Maker. You’ll need:

  • A HD camcorder
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • VoltaicHD

A HD camcorder is common these days and you should really get one if you’re into videography. Shoot some sample clips in HD, preferably on a bright sunny day, to test out the steps below.

These cameras usually shoot video in the Advanced Video Coding High Definition (AVCHD) format - which is the standard for HD video. AVCHD video usually consist of files ending with M2TS and MTS in their filenames.

You also need Microsoft Movie Maker - these come built into Windows XP and Vista. If you’re on later versions of Windows, you should download Windows Movie Maker from this link.

Now, VoltaicHD is an important tool you’ll need for converting AVCHD video files into Windows Media Video (WMV) files. Once converted, these WMV files can be edited directly in Windows Movie Maker.

2. Copy Your Video Clips Off Your Camera

The next thing to do, once you’ve assembled your equipment above, is to actually shoot that HD video, then copy the clips off your camera into the computer.

These days, a HD camcorder should allow you to directly copy M2TS or MTS files from the its SD card into your computer’s hard drive.

3. Convert Your Clips To WMV Format

Next, you should fire up VoltaicHD and use it to convert the imported M2TS or MTS files on your hard drive into WMV files. This should be easy given that VoltaicHD does all the work and makes a quick job of it.

4. Create A New Project

Once done, fire up Windows Movie Maker. Go to File > New Project to create a new project. You should save and name your Project as appropriate. A sample screen of a new project in Windows Movie Maker is shown below.

5. Import Your Clips

The next thing to do is to go to File -> Import Media Items. Simply select the folder on your hard drive that you sent your clips converted by VoltaicHD to, then click Open. The select clips will load into the Windows Movie Maker work area. You are now ready to do the video editing work.

6. Do A Rough Cut

A standard video editing workflow step is to start with a “rough cut” of the scenes. Here, you’ll need to preview all your raw video clips.

Then you either throw them out (if they are bad or unwanted segments), or split them so that only the portions you want end up in the Movie Maker Timeline.

Here’s how to do the rough cut:

  • Click and select the first video clip in the work area.
  • You will see the video open in the Preview window. Start playing the clip by hitting the Space Bar.
  • Once you hit the start of the video footage that you want to retain in your movie, click the Pause button.
  • Then you just click Split. What this does is to create a new clip from the point that you paused. Windows Movie Maker will append a (1) to the video clip’s name.
  • You then open the new clip in the Preview window and repeat the process. Play it until you reach the end of the footage that you want, then click Split again.

By following these steps, you will end up with a bunch of small “rough cut” videos ready to be added to the Windows Movie Maker storyboard.

7. Build Up The Timeline

All right, the next thing to do is to add your video clips to the Movie Maker Timeline - very simple to do since you just drag and drop.

8. Add Titles

The next thing after the storyboard is finished is to add titles. This is really quite simple - to add a title, just click on the Titles and Credits link.

You’ll find this link on the left hand menu of Windows Movie Maker - simply follow the onscreen prompts to complete your action.

9. Add Transitions

Transitions are important elements of any video to ease one scene into another. You can easily drag transition effects onto the transition area found between each video clip in the Timeline.

Click on Transitions in the left hand menu in Movie Maker. You will see all the available transitions in the work area. Drag whichever one you want into the relevant transition area.

And here’s a picture of a completed Timeline, with titles and transitions done.

Note that the Timeline displays your videos as you would see on a professional video editing program like Adobe Premiere. You can also work with video, title and audio layers of your HD video if you wanted to.

10. Publish

The final step is to publish your HD video for the world to see! What you do is to select Publish from within Movie Maker.

Go to File > Publish Movie and select My Computer as the destination. Then click Next.

Importantly, at this point, if select DVD as the destination, your movie will be downgraded to standard definition (SD). This is because DVDs can only contain standard definition footage.

We’re talking about publishing in Full HD, so you should use a Publishing profile that supports this.

Now, this is where it gets a bit interesting. This Publishing profile is installed when you install Voltaic HD. However, the in-built profile for WMV-HD (1080p) letterboxes the final movie. It’s basically created as a 4:3 ratio movie, with black space at the top and bottom.

I don’t really like that. So what you need to do is to use the VoltaicHD profile in order to get a correctly published movie.

  • Simply select More Settings, then select VoltaicHD 1080.
  • Select PAL or NTSC according to your region (Japan and USA are probably only ones on NTSC).
  • Next, click Publish and your movie will be created.

Wrapping Up ...

Whew! You now have a nicely done full HD (1920x1080) movie ready to be distributed. Most slower performance computers will not be able to play this kind of file without some kind of lag.

Don’t worry - what you need to do to enjoy the HD movies is burn them onto a Blu-ray disc and then play them on a wide-screen HD TV. The other approach is to stream the HD movie onto your HD TV screen using a media device.

I hope the above is useful to you. Until next time, have great fun editing your videos!

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